Stratford High School junior football player Edgar Velez is a kid who loves to hit and he might very well be the heart and soul of the Red Devils defense this season.
“Edgar is a program guy,” Stratford coach Jack Petion said. “He’s always been a leader and he’s someone all the kids look up to. He’s been very vocal for us. He one of our best defenders and he brings the boom.”
On Thursday, the Stratford co-captain will be looking to lower that boom against cross-town rival Bunnell as the Red Devils and Bulldogs meet up for the 62nd time for their Thanksgiving Day rivalry game.
Earlier this week, Velez took time out to go “On the Record” with the Stratford Sports Scene.
STRATFORD SPORTS SCENE: What’s the best thing about Stratford High School?
EDGAR VELEZ: I’d say the team. We have a lot of chemistry. We all grew up together, playing with each other in Pop Warner and stuff, so just playing together now is really special.
SSS: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be?
EV: Getting more people to play football. It’s tough to win games with just 20 people, but I guess you only need 11 to play.
SSS: What teacher has had the biggest impact on you so far?
EV: Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d probably say Mr. (Joe) Palmucci, one of my coaches, too. He teachers woodshop, but he’s helped me a lot more than just that. He makes sure I’m getting to class on time and gives me a reason to stay in class.
SSS: Why did you become a football player?
EV: To be honest, I just love the sport. I love hitting, I love tackling. I love taking my anger out on the field and working hard. I feel like this sport pushes myself to the limit.
SSS: You hear that phrase a lot around the game: “I love to hit.” How much do you love it?
EV: Honestly? I’ll hit anybody, any person no matter the size or the weight. Just do what’s best for the team.
SSS: What do you think the Stratford-Bunnell rivalry means to the town?
EV: It’s very competitive. We’re all cool at the end of the day, but on the field, we’re enemies and we’re going to push each other and hit each other hard.
SSS: Stratford High hasn’t won a game this season and the team is so young. How tough has that been for you?
EV: Honestly? It’s been pretty tough but with the players we have, we have a lot of talent. We just need to finish out games, just ball out for four quarters. That’s what it takes.
SSS: Would you rather have a big sack, or throw a key block that leads to a touchdown?
EV: Throw a key block on a touchdown. Get points on the board and help my team. It’s not just me playing the game, it’s all of us.
SSS: Are you a pro football fan or college? And who is your favorite team and player?
EV: Professional, of course. My favorite team is the Giants, but my favorite player isn’t from my team. He’s from the Cowboy, No. 55 (Leighton Vander Esch). He’s a middle linebacker and he’s aggressive plays at 100 percent speed.
SSS: What scares you?
EV: Honestly, I don’t think I have a fear. Whatever comes my way, I’ll break through the wall.
SSS: What is something nobody knows about you?
EV: Let’s see. My freshman year was my first year at a Stratford school and I didn’t have many friends. Playing on this team helped me get a lot of friends.
SSS: What’s your perfect breakfast?
SSS: The ideal midnight snack?
EV: Granola bars. I have them all over my house.
SSS: And your favorite home-cooked meal?
SSS: Hollywood is making a movie of your life. What’s it called and who stars as you?
EV: I’ll star as myself. (Laughs). It would be titled “Underrated.”
SSS: Who is your perfect prom date?
EV: My girlfriend, Shy’ane Davis.
SSS: What one word best describes Edgar Velez?
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